GLOSSARY

The information listed below describes how a term is being used in association with the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project.

A - C | D - E | F - M | N - O | P - R | S - U | V - Z

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP): An independent federal agency promoting the preservation, enhancement and productive use of our nation's historic resources.

Alternatives/Alternate: Options that a federal agency considers to address the significant issues and meet the purpose of and need for a proposed project in an environmental analysis. Also used to describe other routes under consideration by Idaho Power during its Community Advisory Process.

Application for a Site Certificate: An application prepared by Idaho Power documenting the information required by Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Process to determine whether the proposed facility will comply with siting standards, applicable statutes, administrative rules and local government ordinances.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): A federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior that is responsible for carrying out a variety of programs for the management and conservation of resources on 258 million acres. The BLM manages multiple resources and uses, including energy and minerals, timber, forage, recreation, wild horse and burro herds, fish and wildlife habitat, wilderness areas, and archaeological, paleontological and historical sites. Idaho Power submitted an application to the BLM for a right of way grant to cross BLM-managed lands. BLM is the lead federal agency for the environmental review of the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project.

Community Advisory Process (CAP): A collaborative public siting process initiated by Idaho Power to recommend proposed and alternate routes for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project.

Constraint: A resource or condition that potentially limits transmission line routes, including areas that are closed by regulations (e.g. municipal airports) or where impacts would be very difficult or impossible to mitigate due to resource protection and other legal requirements.

Contested Case: A fact-finding process conducted by a hearing officer after the Oregon Department of Energy issues a Proposed Order.

Cooperating Agency: For the purposes of this project, a cooperating agency must have some level of jurisdiction in conjunction with the federal and/or state permitting agencies. A cooperating agency must also possess special expertise or knowledge regarding the impacts that the proposed action will have on local, regional or state land use plans, policies and controls. State, local, tribal and other federal entities may be recognized as cooperating agencies, as appropriate. Participation requires a signed Memorandum of Understanding between the cooperating agency and BLM.

Corridor: For the purposes of this project, the corridor is either: 1) The geographic area within which a transmission line is located or planned to be located. Typically used to develop a working alignment for the initial screening of alternatives. If an environmentally sensitive area is found, the transmission line alignment can be shifted within the corridor to avoid adverse impacts to the sensitive area; or 2) a linear area designated by law or in a land use plan that is the preferred location for placement of linear rights of way such as transmission lines.

Current: The movement of electrons through a conductor; measured in amperes or amps.

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Distribution Lines (e.g., 12.5 kV; 34.5 kV): Lines used for transmitting energy to its end use, including commercial facilities, small factories or a small transformer outside a group of houses.

Draft Proposed Order: Following receipt of any agency reports and final land use decisions in response to the filing of the site certificate application, ODOE will issue a Draft Proposed Order on the draft application. The Draft Proposed Order includes ODOE’s recommendation to grant with conditions or deny a site certificate for the proposed facility and provides reasons for that recommendation.

Easements: Agreements that give the utility company the right to use the land owned by the individual for a specific purpose. Most commonly, negotiations directly with private property owners determine easement rights and restrictions for using portions of the land that remains owned by the individual.

Electricity: Electricity is energy converted from natural resources or fuels, produced in different types of power plants. Electricity is created by a spinning magnet inside a coil of wire. This is called a generator. The generator is connected to a turbine. Idaho Power uses different natural resources to turn our turbines: falling water through hydroelectric generation, coal or natural gas. Read more about how electricity is generated, distributed and arrives at your home in Idaho Power's How We Make Electricity Brochure (PDF, 559 KB).

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF): Invisible forces created by any electric charge. The word “electromagnetic” is a combination of two words; electro (electric) and magnetic. Electric fields are the result of the strength (voltage) of the electric charge. Magnetic fields are the result of the motion (current) of the charge. Wherever electricity is used, EMFs are present.

Eminent Domain: When a utility company acquires property for public use through a court action, in which a court decides that the proposed subsequent use is in the public interest and also determines the compensation to be paid to the owner.

Energy: In the electric utility industry, it represents the amount of power used or transmitted over a given amount of time.

Energy Facility Site Certificate: A binding agreement between the state of Oregon and the developer of an energy facility authorizing construction and operation of the facility, subject to terms and conditions.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): Required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a comprehensive public document that analyzes the impacts of a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. When complete, it is a tool for decision making as the EIS describes the positive and negative environmental effects of a proposed action, describes alternative actions and provides an analysis of environmental impacts and ways to mitigate such impacts. An EIS examines physical and biological resources, resource uses, fire management, special designations and social and economic conditions.

Extra-High Voltage Transmission Lines (230 kV; 345 kV; 500 kV): Used for transmitting electrical energy over great distances.

  • Higher voltage lines are more efficient than lower voltage lines. A higher voltage transmission line will result in fewer losses than a transmission line with a lower voltage.
  • Higher voltage lines often have "bundled" conductors, meaning that multiple wires are hung from the same insulator. This increases the amount of power that can be carried on a single circuit.
  • The Idaho Power system loses between two and three percent of its energy due to line losses on the extra-high voltage transmission.

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Final Order: After the conclusion of any contested case proceeding on the Proposed Order, ODOE will take final action on the site certificate application.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A computer representation of data that is geographically distributed in three dimensions. These data can be generated and displayed to show their physical location. Each data set with a certain type of information constitutes a “layer” in the GIS. GIS layers can be superimposed to show the spatial relationships of different items.

Historic properties: Any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. Eligibility is based on the historic property's age (generally at least 50 years old), significance and integrity. View the NHPA Process for more information.

Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): Idaho Power’s comprehensive look at present and future demands for electricity, as well as a plan for meeting those demands. Idaho Power submitted its 2009 IRP to the Idaho and Oregon public utilities commissions in December 2009.

Kilovolt(s) or kV: A unit of potential equal to 1,000 volts.

Lattice Tower: A freestanding steel framework tower that is often used for cross-country lines with voltages above 100 kilovolts.

Lead Agency: The agency or agencies preparing, or having taken primary responsibility for preparing, an environmental document as required by NEPA. For the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project, BLM is the lead federal agency. ODOE is the lead state agency responsible for Oregon’s energy facility siting process.

Mitigation: Compensation for the loss of a resource’s function and/or value resulting from permanent impacts.

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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969: Federal statute that contains procedures to ensure that federal agency decision makers take environmental factors into account. The two major purposes of the NEPA process are citizen involvement and better informed decisions.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966: A federal law intended to "preserve the historical and cultural foundations of our nation." The NHPA was developed in recognition that historic resources are valuable for knowing and understanding our past, providing a sense of roots and identity, recognizing and commemorating the past, and inspiring future generations. To review the regulations, visit www.achp.gov/nhpa.html.

Notice of Intent (NOI) developed by the BLM and USFS: The notice submitted to the Federal Register for the project states BLM and USFS intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed transmission line and provides background information on the proposed project in preparation for the scoping process.

Notice of Intent (NOI) developed by Idaho Power: Idaho Power’s NOI notifies ODOE-EFSC of the proposed project and provides information about the site and the characteristics of the facility for use in preparation of the Project Order. The NOI is not an application to construct the facility. It states the applicant’s intention to submit an application in the future. Information in the NOI is preliminary and is subject to change.

Opportunity: A resource or condition that can accommodate a transmission line route, including existing utility or transportation corridors.

Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE): ODOE is the state agency that administers the siting application process and serves as technical staff to EFSC.

Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC): EFSC is a governor-appointed citizen council, confirmed by the Senate, that regulates all energy facilities in Oregon. EFSC is responsible for approving or denying the company’s application to build the facility in Oregon.

Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC): The mission of the OPUC is to “Ensure that safe and reliable utility services are provided to consumers at just and reasonable rates while fostering the use of competitive markets to achieve these objectives." For the B2H Project, OPUC is responsible for reviewing Idaho Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to address issues such as the project’s purpose and need and capacity of the proposed transmission line (www.puc.state.or.us/PUC/idaho_power_irp.shtml).

Oregon Energy Facility Siting Process: The consolidated permitting process that includes regulations of Oregon state and local agencies. Utilities undergoing this process must demonstrate how their project meets the Oregon Siting Standards.

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Power: The rate at which work is done. The basic unit of measure for power is the watt (w).

Project Order: A report developed by ODOE that summarizes public comments and details the information that Idaho Power must include in its preliminary Application for a Site Certificate.

Proposed Order: Following the final public hearing on the Draft Proposed Order, EFSC will review ODOE’s Draft Proposed Order. Following EFSC'S review, ODOE will issue a Proposed Order, taking into consideration EFSC’s comments, testimony at the public hearing, written comments and agency consultation.

Purpose and Need (NEPA): Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the need to take an action may be something the agency identifies itself, or it may be a need to make a decision on a proposal brought to it by someone outside of the agency, for example, an applicant for a permit. Alternatives are measured against how well they meet the underlying need and best achieve the purposes to be attained.

Purpose and Need (project proponent): As identified by an applicant or proponent of a project, the purpose and need describes the intended outcome of the project and the compelling reason why it is being proposed. Alternatives are measured against how well they meet the underlying need and best achieve the purposes to be attained.

Public Scoping Report: A report developed by BLM documenting public outreach efforts and summarizing the comments received during the public scoping period.

Record of Decision (ROD): The document that is prepared to substantiate a decision based on an EIS. The Record of Decision (ROD) is the final step for BLM and USFS in the EIS process. The ROD states the final agency decisions, identifies the alternatives considered and discusses mitigation, enforcement and monitoring commitments.

Right of way (ROW): Public land authorized to be used or occupied pursuant to a right of way grant. A right of way grant authorizes the use of a right of way over, upon, under, or through public lands for construction, operation, maintenance and termination of a project.

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Sage Grouse Lek: A gathering area for male sage grouse for the purposes of a competitive mating display.

Scoping: Public scoping is the process that federal agencies use to identify public issues and concerns relating to management actions on federal lands.

Section 106 consultation: Section 106 of the NHPA directs federal agencies to consider the adverse effects of their actions on historic properties and to consider ways through consultation to avoid, minimize or mitigate effects to historic properties. The applicable federal regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 36, Part 800 - Protection of Historic Properties. View the NHPA Process for more information.

Source Station: A power station that is the receiving point for energy from distant generation delivered over high voltage power lines.

Special Use Permit: A permit granting rights or privileges of occupancy and use to the holder. These permits contain specific terms and conditions that the holder must follow.

Stray Voltage: Stray Voltage is an extraneous voltage that appears on grounded surfaces in buildings, barns and other structures, including utility distribution systems.

Study Area: The geographic area addressed by the analysis in a plan or study.

Substation: A station used to transform one voltage to another and for protecting and controlling transmission and distribution lines. A substation is used to raise voltages for long distance transmission and to lower transmission voltages for distribution to the end users. Without substations, generation would have to be located very close to the customer load.

Sub-transmission Lines (69 kV; 138 kV; 161 kV): Lines used for transmitting electrical energy between substations that are close to one another (up to approximately 100 miles). These lines will typically not carry as much energy as the extra-high voltage lines.

Threatened and Endangered Species: Any species that is, or is likely to become, endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant part of its range. Requirements related to threatened and endangered species are outlined in the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Transmission Lines: A transmission line is used to conduct electricity between two points. Without high voltage transmission lines, generation would have to be located at or near where the energy is used.

United States Forest Service (USFS): A federal agency under the Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of public land for multiple uses and benefits and for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wood, recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, wilderness areas, and archaeological, paleontological and historical sites. Idaho Power submitted an application to the USFS for a special use permit to cross USFS-administered lands.

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Volt: The measure of electrical “pressure”.

Voltage: The electrical potential difference between two points expressed in volts.

West-wide Energy (WWE) Corridor Programmatic EIS: Considers 11 contiguous western states for the possible construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning and dismantling of energy infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines and electric transmission lines. The states considered are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming (www.corridoreis.anl.gov).

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